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Title:ContagAlert: Using Contagion Theory for Adaptive, Distributed Alert Propagation
Author(s):Treaster, Michael; Conner, William G.; Gupta, Indranil; Nahrstedt, Klara
Subject(s):distributed systems
Abstract:The widespread uses of large-scale distributed systems, e.g., Grid networks and distributed storage systems, raise the possibilities of large-scale attacks on such systems. Although current technology for detecting worms and viruses in the Internet can be applied, few existing systems support fast propagation of alerts during the attack itself. This paper proposes and studies a new system towards this problem. The system, called "ContagAlert", uses contagion spreading behavior, somewhat like the spread of fads in society, in order to spread alerts. ContagAlert is able to propagate an alert while the attack is in progress, while at the same time suppressing disruptive signals generated by adversaries or false positives. The core contagion protocols in the system are completely localized, involving simple threshold checks at each node, but resulting in desired emergent threshold behavior at the network scale. Signals with too few sources fail to spread, and signals exceeding the threshold propagate across the entire network. Contagion protocols can be analyzed using bootstrap percolation models. We also present experimental results from contagion protocols running in a wide variety of topologies. Finally, we present experiments based on two real-life applications: Internet worm attacks and DoS attacks on p2p systems.
Issue Date:2005-07
Genre:Technical Report
Other Identifier(s):UIUCDCS-R-2005-2604
Rights Information:You are granted permission for the non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display, and performance of this technical report in any format, BUT this permission is only for a period of 45 (forty-five) days from the most recent time that you verified that this technical report is still available from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Computer Science Department under terms that include this permission. All other rights are reserved by the author(s).
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-04-20

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